Categories
American History

Remembering the Wall Street bombing of 1920

On a usual day, lunchtime down on Wall Street today is chaotic mess of brokers and bankers on cell phones, tour groups, messengers on bikes, police officers, construction workers, people delivering lunch and perhaps a stray older lady walking her dog. One hundred years ago today, in 1920, it would have practically been the same, sans […]

Categories
New Amsterdam Podcasts

Peter Stuyvesant and the Fall of New Amsterdam: Where did the Dutch roots of New York City go?

PODCAST There would be no New York City without Peter Stuyvesant, the stern, authoritarian director-general of New Amsterdam, the Dutch port town that predates the Big Apple.  The willpower of this complicated leader took an endangered ramshackle settlement and transformed it into a functioning city. But Mr. Stuyvesant was no angel. In part two in the […]

Categories
Podcasts The Jazz Age

The Wall Street Crash of 1929: The sobering end of New York’s Jazz Age

This is the final part of our three-part NEW YORK IN THE JAZZ AGE podcast series. Check out our two prior episode #233 The Roaring ’20s: The King of the Jazz Age and #234 Queen of the Speakeasies: A Tale of Prohibition New York   Something so giddy and wild as New York City in […]

Categories
New Amsterdam Uncategorized

Building The Wall: How Wall Street got its name

One of the first facts you learn as a student of New York City history is that Wall Street, that canyon of tall buildings and center of the American financial world, is named for an actual wall that once stretched along this very spot during the days of the Dutch when New York was known […]

Categories
Wartime New York

Charlie Chaplin on Wall Street: The tale behind the 1918 photo

The comedy legend Charlie Chaplin was born 125 years ago today in London, so I thought I’d use the opportunity to re-post one of my favorite photographs of Wall Street. In the 1918 photo above, Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks draw tens of thousands to Wall Street and the foot of the United States Sub Treasury building […]

Categories
Those Were The Days

Fun money: The Buffalo nickel, 100 years old this month, makes Wall Street messenger boys rich (for a couple hours)

The U.S. Sub Treasury Building — today’s Federal Hall — as it appeared in a colorized postcard in the 1900s (courtesy NYPL)“Hey! Getcha buffalo nickels here. Only 15 cents!” On March 1, 1913, the usual bustle of Wall Street was enlivened with the voices of young men — mostly messenger boys, bank runners and peddlers, […]

Birth of the modern (i.e. totally insane) stock market

Wall Street’s curbside traders, in the throes of unregulated buying and selling. From here until next Friday and the release of the next podcast, I’ll be posting stories from a particular, namely the year 1864. It’s one of the weirder years in New York City history. You would think that having part of your city in […]

Rediscovering the rediscovery of a 350-year-old city view

This is not a land of hobbits. Despite looking like an illustration from a J.R.R. Tolkien novel, the map above is actual drawing made of early New Amsterdam as it looked to one cartographer in 1661. It’s most likely an alternate image of New Amsterdam by the city’s surveyor Jacques Cortelyou who provides us with […]

Podcast Rewind: the New York Stock Exchange

Pandemonium on Wall Street during the stock market crash of 1929A special illustrated version of our podcast on the New York Stock Exchange(Episode #63) is now available on our NYC History Archive feed. Just hit play and images of the things we’re talking about appear on any compatible media player. We look at the early […]

The wheelhouse of Wall Street 1885

No ‘Mad Men Notes’ this week as I’m out of town, but please enjoy this captivating shot of mad men on Wall Street, circa 1885, courtesy the Cornell University Library. The more you look at it, the more interesting details emerge. Click on picture for much greater detail. Trinity Church, at far left, would still […]

Captain Kidd and his swanky New York waterfront home

Above: A fanciful painting of Captain Kidd in New York Harbor, by Jean-Leon Gerome Ferris, 1911. Notice Fort James (former Fort Amsterdam) and the adjoining windmill in the background In this week’s podcast, I refer to New Yorker and Trinity Church benefactor William Kidd as one of the most notorious pirates of the Atlantic Ocean. […]

Categories
Podcasts

Trinity Church: anchor of Wall Street, New York’s landlord

Above: The seemingly unchanged Trinity in 1916, already dwarfed by skyscrapers PODCAST Trinity Church, with its distinctive spire staring down upon the west end of Wall Street, is more than just a house of worship. Over three different church buildings have sat at this site, and the current one by architect Richard Upjohn is one […]

Categories
Neighborhoods Podcasts

PODCAST: The Great Fire of 1835

The Great Fire of 1835 devastated the city during one freezing December evening, destroying hundreds of buildings and changing the face of Manhattan forever. It underscored the city’s need for a functioning water system and permanent fire department. So why were there so many people drinking champagne in the street? Listen in as we recount […]

True fear on Wall Street: the terror bombing of 1920

Lunchtime down on Wall Street today is chaotic mess of brokers and bankers on cell phones, tour groups, messengers on bikes, police, construction workers, people delivering lunch and the stray old lady walking her dog. Eighty-eight years ago, in 1920, it would have practically been the same, sans the cell phones. So it’s particularly disturbing […]

Categories
Podcasts

PODCAST: New York Stock Exchange

We steal this week’s topic straight for today’s headlines! We look at the early days of New York finance and the creation of the New York Stock Exchange, beginning with Alexander Hamilton, some pushy auctioneers, a coffee house and a sycamore tree. And find how this seminal financial institution ended up in its latest home […]